Dirk Nowitzki, Dwayne Wade lead 2023 Hall of Fame class

Dec 25, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Former Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki waves to the crowd during the ceremony for the unveiling of a statue in his honor at before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers American Airlines Center . Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki, Dwayne Wade lead 2023 Hall of Fame class

Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade are among 12 inductees in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Wade and Nowitzki will be joined by NBA champions Pau Gasol and Tony Parker, longtime Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and six-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon, among others.

“This is basketball heaven,” Wade said on the ESPN telecast of the official announcement made Saturday in Houston at the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four.

Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo informed the new members of the honors earlier in the week.

Others elected to the Hall this year are former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, who died in 1993; former Purdue coach Gene Keady; former Texas A&M women’s coach Gary Blair; David Hixon, longtime coach at Division III Amherst; Gene Bess, the all-time winningest college coach with 1,300 victories at the community college level; and the 1976 U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team.

In 21 seasons — all with the Dallas Mavericks — Nowitzki, 44, amassed 31,560 points to rank sixth on the all-time scoring list. He was a 14-time All-Star and was named league MVP following the 2006-07 season. Nowitzki led Dallas to a championship in 2011, being named Finals MVP when his Mavericks took down Wade’s Heat in six games.

Wade, 41, played 16 NBA seasons, spending parts of 15 with the Miami Heat. He was a 13-time All-Star and helped Miami win three titles, being named Finals MVP in 2006. Wade also played for the Chicago Bulls in 2016-17 and was briefly with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season before being traded back to the Heat in February 2018.

Popovich, 74, is in his 27th season as the Spurs’ head coach and has led San Antonio to five NBA championships. He holds a 1,363-757 regular-season record, good for a .643 winning percentage. Popovich also has the third-most playoff wins by a coach with 170, one behind Pat Riley.

Gasol, a 42-year-old from Spain, and Parker, a 40-year-old from France, were both instrumental in building their respective teams into dynasties. Parker was a four-time champion with the San Antonio Spurs under Popovich, while Gasol helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a pair of titles. Gasol had his No. 16 jersey retired by the Lakers earlier this month.

Hammon, 46, played 16 WNBA seasons with the New York Liberty (1999-2006) and San Antonio Stars (2007-14). Following her playing career, Hammon served as an assistant coach for the Spurs under Popovich from 2014-22 and is now the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, whom she led to a WNBA title in 2022.

This year’s class will be honored Aug. 11-12 during festivities in Uncasville, Conn., and Springfield, Mass.

–Field Level Media

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